It was an emotional day at Endless Love Pet Palace in Warner Robins after a North Carolina man drove through the morning to pick up his dog.
Jacob Reynolds was at the reunion and has the story on how a month of searching led to a happy ending.
It took a lot of work from strangers, but on Sunday afternoon, Travis Allen was reunited with his dog Chipper.
One of the people responsible for that is Sheila Kemp, who didn't know Allen, but received an emotional phone call in late December and decided to help.
“I felt the sadness in his voice and I just felt like we were supposed to help him find his dog,” Kemp said with tears in her eyes.
Chipper escaped after a walk on December 28 while staying at Allen's brother's house.
Once back inside, Chipper and his brother Ranger got out through a cracked open door. Ranger came back, Chipper did not.
After a week of searching and various sightings across town, Allen and his family were forced to leave for home in North Carolina without Chipper.
“I was pretty disappointed in myself, because I felt like there was a lot of things I could have done differently,” Allen said Sunday.
But that's when Kemp stepped in to help. She owns Endless Love Pet Palace in Warner Robins and started a search.
She spent her own time and money on 200 posters and fliers, an animal trap, Facebook ads, and visits to at least a dozen businesses.
Finally, last Monday she got a call that someone had found Chipper. Chipper had spent 12 days on his own, then was found, and then later the rescuers recognized him from posters.
“I always said to him I want to be able to pick up the phone one day and tell you "I have him," and when it was all said and done he said 'You did it Sheila, you did it,’” Kemp said Sunday.
At their reunion, Chipper let his appreciation show too loudly howling after seeing Allen.
Allen wanted to thank Kemp and all the people that had helped looked for Chipper.
Kemp said she knew of at least 15 to 20 volunteers whom helped her, including Houston County District Attorney George Hartwig and his wife.
“Total strangers. 'Hey I was in the woods looking for him,' and they don't even know me. Why would they take the time to do that? And so that's just evidence of God's grace in our life,” Allen said.
It was evidence of a good boy and some good people who helped a man bring his best friend home.
Kemp says she wants people to learn from this experience.
She says veterinarians will scan found dogs, like Chipper, for a microchip for free to try and reconnect them with their owners.
She was able to call Allen without any doubts after Chipper was scanned last Monday.
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